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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes, that requires a one-time general visual inspection of the electrical wiring of the right side of the cockpit to determine if the electrical wiring is chafing against the observer station and to detect damaged wires; and corrective actions, if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent chafing and damage to electrical wires of the cockpit and consequent electrical arcing due to wires that were routed improperly during production of the airplane, which could result in fire and smoke in the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective September 26, 2001.Start Printed Page 44048

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 26, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024). This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brett Portwood, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5350; fax (562) 627-5210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2001 (66 FR 10858). That action proposed to require a one-time general visual inspection of the electrical wiring of the right side of the cockpit to determine if the electrical wiring is chafing against the observer station and to detect damaged wires; and corrective actions, if necessary.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the comments received.

Address Change for Obtaining Service Information

The airplane manufacturer states that the referenced department name, number, and mail code of the address for obtaining service information are incorrect in the proposed AD. The correct address is Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024). The airplane manufacturer requests that the proposed AD be revised accordingly. The FAA agrees and has revised this address in the final rule.

Delay Issuance of Final Rule

One commenter requests that the FAA delay issuance of the final rule until an on-aircraft verfication has been performed. The FAA does not agree. To delay this final rule would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that an inspection must be conducted to ensure continued operational safety.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comments noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the change previously described. The FAA has determined that this change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 148 Model MD-11 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 43 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required inspection, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the inspection required by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $2,580, or $60 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations adopted herein will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2001-17-05 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-12396. Docket 2000-NM-185-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A117, dated May 18, 2000; certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (e) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.Start Printed Page 44049

To prevent chafing and damage to electrical wires of the cockpit and consequent electrical arcing due to wires that were routed improperly during production of the airplane, which could result in fire and smoke in the airplane, accomplish the following:

One-Time General Visual Inspection

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time general visual inspection of the electrical wiring of the right side of the cockpit to determine if the electrical wiring is chafing against the observer station and to detect damaged wires, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A117, dated May 18, 2000.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is defined as “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or drop-light, and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”

Condition 1 (No Chafing)

(b) If all electrical wires are found not to be chafing against the observer station during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, no further action is required by this AD.

Condition 2 (Chafing and No Wire Damage)

(c) If any electrical wire is found to be chafing against the observer station and if no wire is found damaged during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, loosen the wire clamps, reposition the wires, and tighten the wire clamps, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A117, dated May 18, 2000.

Condition 3 (Chafing and Wire Damage)

(d) If any electrical wire is found to be chafing against the observer station and if any wire is found damaged during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, do the action specified in paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this AD, as applicable, AND do the action specified in paragraph (d)(3) of this AD; per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A117, dated May 18, 2000.

(1) For damage within repairable limits: Repair damaged insulation.

(2) For damage outside repairable limits: Replace damaged wires with new wires.

(3) Loosen the wire clamps, reposition the wires, and tighten the wire clamps.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(e) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Los Angeles ACO.

Note 3:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Los Angeles ACO.

Special Flight Permits

(f) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

Incorporation by Reference

(g) The actions shall be done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A117, dated May 18, 2000. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024). Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

(h) This amendment becomes effective on September 26, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 14, 2001.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-20932 Filed 8-21-01; 8:45 am]

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